Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Scientists Unable To Confirm That Happiness A Warm Gun

with 2 comments

190px-Charlie-brown-off-b'wayCambridge, MA, May 25 – Researchers investigating human happiness have yet to meet success in their efforts to arrive at effective parameters for happiness, a spokesman for the group said this morning.

A Harvard University collaborative study has been collating and testing numerous specific claims by earlier researchers into what constitutes happiness. The meta-analysis has so far looked at more than a dozen hypotheses, including two of the most prominent ones: a 1968 study by J. Lennon that happiness is a warm gun, and another by C. Gesner the previous year that happiness is two kinds of ice cream.

The researchers are subjecting each hypothesis to rigorous analysis, attempting to determine whether any of them can provide a compelling definition. By nature, however, many of the factors cited by the earlier researchers do not admit to standard methods of empirical analysis, requiring the scientists to formulate less precise tools to assess the accuracy of each.

Nevertheless, the researchers have been able to definitively rule out several hypotheses, somewhat simplifying the rest of the work. Gesner himself posited a good number of less-well-known indicators of happiness that the scientists were able to disprove with relative ease, finding numerous of cases in which their presence was demonstrated but happiness nevertheless absent: having a sister; a hot dog sandwich; finding a nickel; and sharing a sandwich, the last of which was actually found to increase resentment.

Also complicating the research is the notion, first posited by K. Solomon and later confirmed by E. Hemingway, that happiness and intelligence rarely, if ever, coexist in the same person. Thus the capacity to detect happiness tends to be inversely proportional to the likelihood of its presence. Increasingly, say the researchers, they are drawn toward the more parsimonious hypotheses that posit a subjective factor. W. A. Ward, for example, put forth parameters that see happiness as “an inside job,” a notion that perhaps carries a simple emotional resonance, but that the researchers find challenging both because they lack a way to measure it, and because the phrase evokes conspiracy theories, which in themselves are hardly parsimonious.

Alternatively, the researchers still have the hypothesis of one A. Schweitzer, who defined happiness as “nothing more than good health and a bad memory.” At press time, researcher W. Axl Rose was citing earlier researcher J. Beaumont in attributing the absence of happiness to his not having you.

Further silliness can be viewed at PreOccupied Territory.

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Written by Thag

May 25, 2014 at 3:30 pm

2 Responses

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  1. HAPPINESS has been meet

  2. Reblogged this on All The What Nots and commented:
    ‘You’re a Good man Charlie Brown’

    fc521

    May 26, 2014 at 8:04 pm


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